TIME faith

Mormon Church Will Keep Affiliation With Boy Scouts Despite Decision on Gay Leaders

Salt Lake Temple utah mormon
Rick Bowmer—AP Flowers bloom in front of the Salt Lake Temple on Aug. 4, 2015, at Temple Square, in Salt Lake City.

The church was assured they can appoint troop leaders according to their own religious and moral values

(SALT LAKE CITY) — The Mormon church — the nation’s largest sponsor of Boy Scout units — is keeping its longtime affiliation with the organization despite its decision to allow gay troop leaders.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the decision Wednesday in a news release. Church leaders decided to stay with Boy Scouts after getting assurances they can appoint troop leaders according to their own religious and moral values.

Boy Scouts of America announced on July 28 it would lift its ban on gay adult leaders while allowing church-sponsored Scout units to continue excluding gay adults.

The Mormon religion, with 15 million members, has softened its tone on gays in recent years but still opposes gay marriage and believes homosexual activity is a sin.

TIME Books

See a Page From a Gutenberg Bible in Close-Up

The bibles were first printed in 1456

It’s hard to pin down the exact day the book was born, but August 24 is as fine a day to celebrate as any: it was on this day in 1456 that at least one copy of the original Gutenberg Bible was completed. You can zoom in on a page from that milestone text by rolling over it with your cursor (on your phone? Just click). This is Jerome’s epistle to Paulinus, which serves as the prologue to the Bible:

Print Collector-Getty Images

Because the colorful decorations were done by hand, each of the copies—about four dozen of which have survived intact, out of nearly 200—is slightly different, even though the actual text was printed with the same type.

As TIME explained in 1999, when it named Johann Gutenberg the most important person of the 15th century, non-European printers had figured out the idea of moveable type first—but dealing with more than 26 or so letter characters made it less efficient. Printing in Europe, meanwhile, was usually done by carving into a block of wood, which meant that once the printing form was made, you were stuck with it permanently. Having the idea of casting each letter separately and just moving them around wasn’t the only stumbling block for Gutenberg—he needed to find the metal that melted at the right temperature, he needed to find ink that wouldn’t smudge, he needed to design the press part of the machine—but it was a start.

Exactly what happened between his grand idea and the emergence of the first full Gutenberg Bible—like, for example, whether Gutenberg himself actually printed it—remains something of a mystery. But it was enough to get his name printed, as it were, in history:

By the time he was back in Mainz in 1448, Gutenberg had ironed out enough of these problems to persuade Johann Fust, a goldsmith and lawyer, to invest heavily in his new printing shop. Exactly what happened behind Gutenberg’s closed doors during the next few years remains unknown. But in 1455 visitors to the Frankfurt Trade Fair reported having seen sections of a Latin Bible with two columns of 42 lines each printed–printed–on each page. The completed book appeared about a year later; it did not bear its printer’s name, but it eventually became known as the Gutenberg Bible.

Read more about Gutenberg and others, here in the TIME Vault: The Most Important People of the Millennium

TIME faith

Meet the Worshipers at America’s Busiest Airport Mosque

Ramadan Eid JFK Airport
Tanya Basu Worshippers gather after breaking their Ramadan fast at the JFK International Airport mosque in the Queens borough of New York City on July 14, 2015.

The mosque at JFK Airport is more than just a prayer space—it's a community

Correction appended, Aug. 21, 2015

Several times a day, Essam Matwaoy leaves his job arranging luggage on EgyptAir planes at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He makes his way through the cacophony of Terminal 4—past the endlessly ringing phones and maze of snaking lines and Babel-like hum of languages—toward a silent corridor where he finds something that is rare in an American airport: a mosque.

“I come here all the time,” he told TIME at the JFK International Islamic Center recently. “When it’s time to pray, my co-workers even tell me, ‘Essam, it’s time to pray—go to the mosque!'”

The mosque, a maroon-carpeted room where an imam leads daily prayers, is one of only seven Muslim prayer spaces in America’s largest airports, according to a recent Pew Research Center report—and it’s the busiest in the country, according to the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains. While Pew found that religious chapels are becoming more common in the nation’s airports, many are multipurpose interfaith spaces that transform to house services for several different religions. Much rarer, at least outside of the U.S., is a room in an airport that is dedicated as a mosque around the clock.

“It’s the only mosque of its kind in the country,” said Ahmet Yuceturk, the imam at the JFK International Islamic Center and a chaplain with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs New York City’s airports. “It’s its own mosque, not just a room, which is what most airport mosques are,” Yuceturk continued. “We are our own place, we have our own services, we are our own community within the chapels here. It’s very different from anything in America.”

The mosque holds services five times daily, welcoming Muslims of all backgrounds and beliefs, whether they are New Yorkers who work in the airport or travelers who are stopping to pray in between flights. Depending on the time of day and whether there is a holiday like Ramadan, attendance ranges from just a few people to a crowd of more than 50 spilling out into the hallway; usually about three-quarters are airline passengers while the rest are local workers. In addition to holding services, the mosque doubles as a community center, offering Arabic lessons, Koran discussions and communal meals—along with an occasional wedding.

The mosque also provides aid to passengers who are lost or stranded, in keeping with the Muslim belief in the value of helping strangers.

“We just tell the congregation that there is a traveler, because a traveler has a very big status within Islam,” Yuceturk said. “When someone is stuck when they’re traveling, we need to help them out, regardless of their faith. Whoever comes to us, and if we see that they’re sincere, and if they’re in a tough situation, we do our best as a community to gather some money, put them on a bus, put them on a flight…whatever is doable.”

The JFK International Islamic Center is part of a larger chapels area at JFK’s Terminal 4, which was built in 1955 to house a general Christian place of worship. It was remodeled in 1966 to include Catholic, Protestant and Jewish prayer spaces, and in 2001 a separate multifaith room was built to meet rising demand for a prayer space for the terminal’s Muslim, Hindu and Sikh travelers and workers, nearly a decade after the United American Muslim Association first proposed the idea. Services were intermittent and run by volunteers at first, but when Yuceturk joined as the prayer space’s first full-time imam in 2008, the room became a full-fledged mosque. Since then attendance has risen steadily, with Muslim airport workers spreading the word.

One of the busiest times of year for the mosque is Ramadan. On one of the last days of the month-long holiday this summer, Matwaoy, the EgyptAir load coordinator, watched for the sun to dip below the horizon, then let his sonorous voice fill the mosque’s air, signaling the end of the daily fast. A group of worshipers—some dressed casually for travel, others wearing a traditional long caftan—popped dates in their mouths, the first food they had eaten since sunrise, and then lined up in rows and prayed.

After the prayers, the group broke into happy conversation, as Yaya Dosso, a limo driver originally from the Ivory Coast, took a moment before returning to his shift to slap his friends playfully on the back, calling the congregants “my second family.”

“My wife gets upset,” he said. “I always break fast here.”

Like Dosso, many JFK airport workers and local cab drivers said they stop by the mosque on breaks, and even on their days off.

“This place is my second home,” said Roshana Shoma, 23, a customer service agent for Etihad Airways, as she ate lentils after the mosque’s prayers. “I come here all the time. It’s very comfortable for us. If the mosque weren’t here, we wouldn’t be able to pray.”

Father Chris Piasta—a Catholic chaplain at JFK and LaGuardia airports, who is also a spokesman for the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains, the governing body for airport chapels around the world—said he has never seen a mosque like JFK International Islamic Center in his travels across America’s air transport hubs.

“What we have at JFK is rather unusual compared to other airports,” Piasta said. He hopes to bring more diversity to the largely Christian prayer spaces in airports across the country. In October, the aviation chaplains association will convene in New York to discuss “bringing the world together” through their work, Piasta said.

“We are trying to be open to everybody,” Piasta said. “We have to answer a broad, important question: How can we serve people who are different from ourselves?”

Yuceturk, the imam, sees the JFK mosque as an opportunity to contradict stereotypes about Islam.

“When you look at politics or you look around the world, a lot of negative things are being said about Islam,” Yuceturk said. “But we’re not representing anyone…. We are just regular Muslims. We have no political agenda. We’re just living our lives, earning our living for our families.

“This is how we act. This is who we are.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of the mosque. It is the JFK International Islamic Center.

TIME Race

Read TIME’s Report on the Crown Heights Riots of 1991

Police officers try to calm Hasidim during confrontation wit
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images Police officers try to calm Hasidim during a confrontation at Utica Ave. and President St. during Crown Heights riots in August of 1991.

"It was the city's worst racial violence since the outbreak that followed Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968," TIME noted

The incident that set off the 1991 Crown Heights riots was easy to pinpoint: on Aug. 19, a car driven by a Hasidic Jew hit and killed a young black child. As a private ambulance took the driver away from the scene and emergency responders worked to free the victim and another child pinned under the car, the area’s black and Jewish residents–who had long been tense neighbors–erupted in anger. As TIME later noted, the result was the worst episode of racial violence in New York City city since 1968, after the death of Martin Luther King.

But as with any cataclysmic event, the underlying causes of the riots were far more complicated than a single moment.

As TIME’s story on the riots explained, the side-by-side life of the two communities in Crown Heights was already tense—and the fighting did little to diffuse the situation:

Behind the violence lay decades of uneasy coexistence between local blacks and members of the Lubavitcher sect, who established their world headquarters there in 1940. Lubavitcher Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky claims that ”Crown Heights is a model community of integration where whites and blacks live in peace together.” But blacks describe a different atmosphere. ”The Hasidim set up an apartheid situation in Crown Heights,” says Dr. Vernal Cave, a black dermatologist who has lived in the area for 36 years. Cave claims that the Lubavitchers have long received preferential treatment from police and city authorities. In particular, he says, the sect caused resentment in the past by pressuring Jewish shopkeepers in the neighborhood to close their doors on Saturday and by prevailing on police to block off the streets near their synagogues during the Sabbath. Said another local black man: ”You’ve got to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know about the problems here with the Hasidim.”

One thing is clear: there is little common ground between the two groups. Nor have leaders from either side reached out to the other in an effort to defuse the situation. Instead they have engaged in a bitter public debate in which heated rhetoric far outweighs the language of reason and compromise. While blacks like Cave speak of apartheid, Lubavitcher leaders evoke visions of pogroms and Kristallnacht.

Read more from 1991, here in the TIME Vault: An Eye for an Eye

 

TIME faith

Hottest Tickets in Washington Are Going Fast for This Man

Pope Francis at the Capitol, of course

Rep. Peter Welch’s sister, Maureen, had better intelligence than the five-term Vermont congressman about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to the United States and his historic address to Congress.

“She called before the announcement and said, ‘The pope is coming, can I have your ticket?'” recalled the Democratic lawmaker.

He eagerly said yes to Maureen — Sister Maureen, an Ursuline nun who has been a member of the order for 50 years.

While Welch’s decision was somewhat easy, other lawmakers are struggling with an extraordinary demand — from spouses, family, friends, constituents — for the one ticket they get for guests to sit in the upper galleries of the House chamber when the pontiff addresses Congress on Sept. 24. A chance to see and hear the 78-year-old Argentinian famed for making the comfortable uncomfortable is the hottest ticket in Washington.

“We have more requests for this appearance than anything anybody can ever recall around here,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said weeks ahead of the event.

The first time a pontiff will be addressing Congress rivals a presidential inauguration and State of the Union wrapped into one.

The president’s Cabinet, the diplomatic corps and members of the Supreme Court, six of whom are Catholic, are expected to join senators and House members in the seats on the floor of the chamber. The House recently took the unusual step of voting to limit the people who can sit in those prime seats, essentially barring former members.

That leaves the current 434 House members and 100 senators figuring out who to please with a gallery ticket and who they might upset. Whether a freshman on the job less than a year or a committee chairman with decades in office, lawmakers face the same rules as a State of the Union speech — one guest ticket per lawmaker.

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about that,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “Turns out I know a couple of Catholics,” he said, laughing. “And this is a hard call.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is giving her ticket to her mother, Pat, who headed Catholic Charities of Maine. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said his choice “starts with family,” but he hasn’t decided yet.

Republican Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., faces a nearly Solomonic choice straight out of the Old Testament.

“Either my wife (Heidi) or my twin brother (James), but I’m a very popular fellow these days because of that one ticket that I get,” Lance said.

Several spouses have already claimed the seats.

“My wife is getting my ticket,” Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., said of his wife Judy. “Even before I knew that the official announcement was made that the pope was coming to speak to a joint session of Congress, I received the email from my wife saying, ‘Don’t give my ticket away.'”

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said simply: “It’s not my seat, it’s my spouse’s seat,” a reference to his wife, Myrna.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., avoided picking one family member and disappointing several others.

“I gave it to a nun who I love — Sister Simone. She’s the nun on the bus,” Boxer said. “She fights for social justice and she’s so happy.”

Sister Simone Campbell is the executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby, and is no stranger to Capitol Hill, lobbying on the 2010 law overhauling health care and immigration. In 2012, she organized the “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which the group criticized as detrimental to the poor.

Ryan was the Republican vice presidential nominee that year.

The presence of nuns will be a reminder of the changes at the Vatican from Pope Francis’ predecessor, Benedict, to the current pontiff. Under Benedict, the main umbrella group of U.S. nuns had come under scrutiny, accused of straying from church teaching. The nuns oversee much of the church’s work at hospitals and schools, and the issue roiled the church in the United States.

Earlier this year, under Francis, the Vatican said that it was ending its overhaul of the group, a quick resolution widely seen as an effort to quiet a dispute ahead of the pope’s visit.

While lawmakers are limited to one gallery ticket, there is a consolation prize of sorts. Members of Congress can promise a few dozen more family, friends or associates a chance to see the Pontiff, just not in the House chamber.

Each congressional office can request one ticket for seats on the lower West Terrace of the Capitol. Jumbotrons will be set up on the West Front of the Capitol, facing the National Mall, so thousands can watch the broadcast of the pope’s speech. Francis is also expected to appear on the Capitol balcony after his speech.

Each lawmaker also can request 50 standing-room-only tickets for the West Lawn, plus one ticket for guests who can sit in the cavernous Cannon Caucus Room and watch the pontiff on TV.

TIME faith

Pope Francis Will Speak From Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Lectern

Pope Francis arrives for an audience with members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican City on Aug. 7 2015.
Ettore Ferrari—EPA Pope Francis arrives for an audience with members of the Eucharistic Youth Movement in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican City on Aug. 7 2015.

The Pope will use the lectern during his trip to the U.S.

Pope Francis will trade in his traditional Vatican chair set-up for a very American alternative—The Gettysburg Lectern—when he speaks in Philadelphia this September.

The Pope will speak from the lectern where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863, the World Meeting of Families announced in a Friday press release. The Abraham Lincoln Foundation will provide the historical artifact for when Pope Francis delivers his speech in front of Independence Hall on Sept. 26.

The Pope will speak in Philadelphia toward the end of a 6-day trip to the U.S. that will begin with President Obama at the White House and include an address to the U.N. General Assembly.

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis: Church Should Welcome Divorced, Remarried Catholics

Vatican Pope
Gregorio Borgia—AP Pope Francis wears a red scarf as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the Vatican after an audience with Altar boys and girls Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.

"They always belong to the church," he said

The Catholic church should be more welcoming to Catholics who divorce and remarry, Pope Francis said on Wednesday.

Catholics who do so are not allowed to receive Communion and are considered by the church’s teachings to be living in sin, the Associated Press reports. (Besides being widowed, Catholics who want to remarry in a church-sanctioned fashion must first receive an annulment.) While the Pope has not yet called for the ban to be lifted, he did tell churches not to treat remarried Catholics as if they were “excommunicated.”

“People who started a new union after the defeat of their sacramental marriage are not at all excommunicated, and they absolutely must not be treated that way,” Francis said during his first general audience following his summer break. “They always belong to the church.”

Francis also acknowledged the children of divorce, asking pastors “not to add additional weight beyond what the children in this situation have to bear.” How can these children practice faith, Francis wondered, “if we keep [the parents] far from the community as if they were excommunicated?”

[AP]

 

TIME jeb bush

Hillary Clinton Criticizes Jeb Bush Remarks on Women’s Health

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to workers at Thumbtack on July 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks to workers at Thumbtack on July 16, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

He later said he misspoke

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was trying to defuse Democratic criticism of defunding Planned Parenthood Tuesday when he accidentally opened up a new line of attack.

During an interview at a conference of Southern Baptists, Bush called for defunding Planned Parenthood, then tried to counter the expected Democratic arguments against it by suggesting the money could be redirected to other community health organizations.

But mid-thought, he stopped to muse that the federal government might not need to spend as much as it does.

“The argument against this is … it is a war on women and you are attacking women’s health issues,” he said. “You could take dollar for dollar—although I’m not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women’s health issues—but if you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine organizations, community health organizations that exist.”

That parenthetical thought bounced around on Twitter, where Clinton responded.

Some conservatives also criticized Bush for giving Democrats an easy opening.

On Monday, Senate Democrats blocked a Republican proposal to defund Planned Parenthood, although some GOP senators have vowed to find other ways to strip the organization of the more than $500 million in federal funding it receives to help run around 700 health clinics. Some have even suggested a government shutdown to force the issue.

Bush did not say whether he’d back a shutdown, instead saying he prefers “regular order.”

“I don’t know how many times we have had government shutdowns and budgets not passed,” he said. “If I am president we are going to respect the Constitution and get back to regular order way where democracy works again, where you submit a budget and you work with Congress, you pass a budget, and in that budget I can promise you there will not be $500 million going to Planned Parenthood.”

The debate has come after a series of undercover videos released by a group of anti-abortion activists showed Planned Parenthood officials and others who work with the organization discussing fetal tissue donation. Republicans argue that the videos show the organization breaking federal law, while Planned Parenthood says they are deceptively edited and merely show officials discussing legally permissible reimbursements for minor costs.

The Bush campaign issued a clarification early Tuesday evening which said that he “misspoke” and that he supports fully funding the “countless community health centers, rural clinics and other women’s health organizations” that serve low-income women.

“I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood – an organization that was callously participating in the unthinkable practice of selling fetal organs,” Bush said in the statement.

TIME faith

Mormon Church Considers Creating Its Own Version of the Boy Scouts

Faithful Attend Mormon General Conference In Salt Lake City
George Frey—Getty Images The Salt Lake Temple is seen during the 184th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Oct. 4, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Church of Latter Day Saints is unhappy with Monday's decision to allow openly gay and bisexual troop leaders to serve

The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS)—Mormonism’s central church body—is seriously considering creating “its own international program for boys separate from the Boy Scouts of America,” after the Scouts revoked their ban on openly gay scout leaders this week, church spokesman Eric Hawkins told Religion News Service.

The committee voted unanimously on Monday to overturn the ban, which had been in place for 105 years.

That same day, the Mormon Church released a statement saying it was “deeply troubled” by the decision and was going to “re-evaluate” its relationship with the Boy Scouts.

With its status as a “global organization with members in 170 countries, the church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available,” the church said in a press release. “Those worldwide needs combined with this vote by the [Boy Scouts’] National Executive Board will be carefully reviewed by the leaders of the church in the weeks ahead.”

The church and the Boy Scouts have had a long relationship: as of 2010, the church’s troops counted 142,085 Cub Scouts and 205,990 Boy Scouts.

A breakup with the church could have serious financial repercussions for the Boy Scouts, which earns about $10.5 million a year from Mormon-affiliated groups alone, based on a $24 annual registration fee per Scout and leader.

 

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